In August, 2009, four workers of the Innse heavy metal fabrication plant in Milan climbed atop a 60-foot crane and threatened to jump off if the company owner carried out his plans to shut down the plant and sell off the machinery. They remained on their perch for eight days. Continue reading
Cousin Jules is one of the best films you’ve never seen. Filmed over a five year period and exhibited to acclaim at festivals in 1972, Cousin Jules never found commercial distribution.
For one thing, the film’s format — cinemascope with stereophonic sound — required projection equipment not available in many movie houses, especially small art theaters to whose audience this film might appeal. Though aware of this problem, filmmaker Dominique Benicheti refused to release his work in another format, insisting that cinematographer Pierre-William Glenn’s images be seen as he intended. Continue reading
Rebellion in Patagonia is a rich, layered film that touches on a host of central themes in Argentine history and culture: imperialism, territorial conflict; the clash between the gauchesque traditions of the Argentine criollos and the ‘modernizing’ agenda of the Europeanized elites and the strained relations between immigrant and native workers. It asks questions about the nature of revolutionary ideology and practice; about contradictory impulses within the military; about the limitations — and dangers — of populist government. It is at once psychological drama, historical drama and political thriller. Continue reading
The Women on the 6th Floor presents the life of a group of Spanish women in Paris during the 1960s working as maids for upper middle class French families. These Conchitas, as they’re still known in Paris, were part of the migratory flow from Spain to several European countries, following the conclusion of the second war world. Continue reading
Bertolucci’s 1900 came out in 1976. Originally 301 minutes long, it was shown as two separate films released in Italy a few weeks apart. An abridged version, a single film 248 minutes long, was shown over Bertolucci’s protest in the United States. The complete version was screened in major U.S. cities in 1982, but did not have a nationwide release. The director’s cut, which we are able to show tonight, requires a warning: “This film contains graphic sex, extreme violence, flamboyant profanity, child abuse — and Communism! Continue reading
Time Out (L’Emploi Du Temps) is an important labor film because it is truly about work — about how work and the absence of work define people in the post-industrial world.
Unlike Human Resources, Laurent Cantet’s first feature film, which dealt with the conflicting values of a production worker and his manager son in a unionized manufacturing plant, Time Out looks at intergenerational values within the bourgeoisie — a world, Cantet notes, of bureaucrats and administrators: “Vincent,” the protagonist, “didn’t struggle for his place in society. It was given to him because of his milieu. And so he had the continual feeling of being a usurper.” Continue reading
Buenas noches y bienvenidos.
The film that we are going to see tonight it is not based on one true story but on thousands of true stories. Los Lunes al Sol (Mondays in the Sun) by Spanish director Fernando León de Aranoa tells us of the lives of mostly middle-aged men that lost their jobs when the shipyard, the primary source of employment in their city, closed its doors in 1984. Continue reading
Nine Star Hotel (Malon 9 Kochavim) isn’t a fancy hotel that you would like to stay at for your vacation. Its name comes from a sarcastic remark made by one of a group of undocumented Palestinian construction workers, referring to their makeshift shanties in the hills above the Israeli city of Modi’in. Continue reading
Mark Twain once remarked that he was assured by a music critic friend that Wagner’s music is better than it sounds. In setting a context for this screening I’d like to suggest that Leon Hirszman and Gianfrancesco Guarini’s 1981 Brazilian film, They Don’t Wear Black Tie (Eles Não Usam Black-Tie), is even much better than it looks and, at least to my eyes, it looks very good indeed. Continue reading
Il Tetto, or The Roof, was directed and produced by Vittorio DeSica in 1956 and first shown in the U.S. in 1959. A New York Times reviewer claimed the belated U.S. screening was due to what he called the film’s “somewhat cheerless theme.” Indeed, the viewer reads in the film’s prologue that “the story you are about to see…is the heroic struggle of a young couple to build a tiny home on [Rome’s] outskirts and was actually filmed at a typical squatters’ colony where many Romans shared the same real-life predicament.” Continue reading